SSP Daily Digest: 4/4


CT-Sen: Former SoS Susan Bysiewicz said that she raised over half a mil in Q1. She also continued a theme of attacking Chris Murphy as some kind of skeezy Washington insider, saying “I’m sure the corporate PACs and DC lobbyists are lining up to support other candidates.” Murphy is the only other announced candidate.

FL-Sen: Adam Smith of the St. Petersburg Times tweeted last Wednesday he expects George LeMieux (R) to announce “next week”… which means this week.

IN-Sen: Rep. Dan Burton, one of the most disliked Republicans in the state of Indiana, channels his inner Tobias Fünke (the man inside him?) and says, “I’m supporting Dick – there’s two Dicks in the race.” That’d be Richard “Dick” Lugar and Richard “Dick” Mourdock. Oh Burton, you blowhard!

KY-Sen: I can’t really believe Rand Paul is serious about a presidential bid, but then again, I thought the same thing about Michele Bachmann and was clearly wrong about that. Still, I’m mostly amused by the fact that he met with Iowa Republicans (including Gov. Terry Branstad) in Des Moines this past weekend. Rand might be trying to set himself up for a run in 2016… or he could also be doing a good job of inviting a primary challenge if he seeks re-election.

MA-Sen: Teabaggers being pissed at Scott Brown are nothing new – though I do find their naivety endearing. (What did they think they were going to get?) What’s sad is that one of their self-anointed leaders, some guy named Judson Phillips, can only muster up this in response to Brown’s latest outrage (calling to reduce budget cuts): “Perhaps the Massachusetts Tea Party will step up with someone to challenge him in 2012.” A resounding call to arms this ain’t.

ME-Sen: Freshman Sen. Pat Toomey says he won’t endorse Olympia Snowe in her bid for re-election. Toomey, don’t forget, has some residual teabagger cred, given that he was president of the Club for Growth.

MO-Sen: Citizens United (yes, that Citizens United) just gave GOP Rep. Todd Akin $10K in the hopes of luring him into the Senate race. I was wrong about Trent Franks, but I really do feel like Akin will get in here.

MT-Sen: Republicans think they get lots of mileage out of attacking “welfare,” but Denny Rehberg took this trope several steps further, declaring that Pell Grants are “turning out to be the welfare of the 21st century.”

NV-Sen: Rep. Shelley Berkley says she’s heartened by the internal poll numbers she put out last week (42-38 over Republican Dean Heller), she still hasn’t made up her mind, though now says she’ll decide “fairly soon,” whatever that means.

NY-Sen: Kirsten Gillibrand set a personal record with her 1Q fundraising, taking in over $3 million.


KY-Gov: Despite opposing the expansion of gambling in the state – a very big and very contentious issue – State Senate President (and GOP gubernatorial nominee) David Williams lost over $36,000 in casinos from 1999 to 2002, according to court documents related to his divorce.

MO-Gov: Did GOP Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder just neutralize the whole “Air Claire” business? It turns out that Kinder, widely expected to run for governor, has spent an average of two months a year staying at St. Louis luxury hotels, all at taxpayer expense, including trips for society balls and baseball games.. You really need to read the whole piece to get the full flavor of Kinder’s abuse of his office. Kinder also told a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “I’m not talking to you,” then hung up the phone. This story’s going to get worse, not better.

UT-Gov, UT-Sen: As we’ve noted previously, the teabaggers are gunning for Gov. Gary Herbert, thanks to his support for immigration bills that are insufficiently punitive, in their view. Now the name of another potential primary challenger has surfaced: state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom. The linked article also says that David Kirkham, a key teabagger who helped oust Bob Bennett last year, is suggesting that Herbert, rather than Orrin Hatch, may be his compatriots’ number one target this cycle. Hatch previously refused to take a position on his home state’s legislation, but let’s see if he turns on Herbert in the hopes of re-directing the teabaggers.

WV-Gov: Julie Sobel at the Hotline has a complete wrapup of fundraising numbers for all the major candidates, both Dem and Republican, in the WV gubernatorial race.

Other Races:

Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: On Twitter, when Sarah Palin announced she was backing David Prosser, I called it the kiss of death. J. Pilmanis said no, she kissed a corpse. We’ll find out for sure tomorrow! Anyhow, the ad wars have, of course, gone full-tilt in the final days of the campaign. Here’s a roundup of some that we’ve seen:

123 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/4”

    1. Pennslyvania has consistently gone Democratic while the other two have not. I can understand that thinking. After all, if Kerry could hold on to the state despite the numerous ways Bush tried to flip it, why can’t Obama, who has advantages that Kerry never had? Granted, I think Obama will win all three, but if I had to pick the last one to fall, I’d probably pick Pennsylvania.  

    2. PA has unions, NM/NV have Hispanics.  Both are going to turn-out and vote big for Obama (Hispanics because it’s Obama and unions because it’s post-WI 2012), but which are the more reliable voters?  (Personally, I think that’ll come down to a draw; both will turn-out and will turn-out big.)  This all speaks to why Obama sucks on the union issue.  I hate to say this, but be more like Bush as he would have immediately inserted himself into these local, statewide issues.  I feel like Obama goes, eh, I’m President of the United States of America, I need to be above that fray.  Not if you are running for re-election and leader of the Democratic Party.

  1. “Didn’t seem to hurt him, did it? I think it’s interesting people want to complain about it, but, you know, Lincoln was elected with two years of experience as a congressman 15 years before he ran for president.”

    –Sen. (oh, how it burns my ass to type that) Rand Paul

    Um, what the hell?

    IN-Sen: Why is Dan Burton so disliked? I mean, I get why Democrats would dislike him, but why Republicans?

    MA-Sen: Part of me hopes someone challenges him, but at the same time, the Massachusetts Republicans that post here have me thinking it just won’t work. I’d like to be proven wrong, however, because if he’s defeated in a primary, Martha Coakley’s old pants suit could be the Democratic candidate and would win. The chances of the Democrats holding the Senate would increase greatly.

    ME-Sen: What a dick. I get why Toomey wouldn’t endorse Snowe, but still, the fact that so many people are willing to turn on long-serving and respectable senators like her and Lugar is incredible. Toomey can claim that he’s neither supporting nor opposing her, but it’s only slightly more true than if DeMint said that. His influence isn’t as great as DeMint’s, but if he were interested in helping her out, he could. The fact that he isn’t speaks volumes.

    MT-Sen: If the Democrats can’t beat this jackass in anything short of a repeat of 2010, they deserve to lose.

    MO-Gov: The key to making this bad for Republicans is to act like McCaskill’s troubles never happened. Don’t even mention them. When Republicans bring it up, just repeat your attacks, my fellow Democrats. Start labelling Kinder as Number One Enemy of Taxpayers and force the senate candidates to choose sides.

    UT-Gov: Why wouldn’t they do this? Perhaps there’s a point where the Republicans become so damn extreme that the Democrats have a better shot, but I am not seeing it anywhere on the horizon.  

    1. the more I believe even someone like Pawlenty might not be able to do much of anything. Surely, he wouldn’t do as badly as Bachmann, but as he tacks further right in order to win the primary, pinning his hopes in part on idiotic positions like DADT repeal, I’m not sure he’ll be able to tack back to the center enough to win.  

  2. My only concern with another MO pol being viewed as corrupt is that it sets the table for an anti-incumbent attack in many races.  

    If everyone in Missouri views their elected officials as corrupt, then challengers to incumbents could benefit.  Its not hugely likely, but it’d be nice if we could simply diffuse both matters and call it even now….I’d rather not have Missourans hating on McCaskill because “all pols are corrupt”.  

    1. I think the prevailing wisdom is that Collins is marginally more conservative than Snowe. Tea-party types wouldn’t see any appreciable difference (RINOs!) but I think most Mainers would consider that to be the case. That said, I’m not a Mainer, so I stand ready to be corrected.

      However, I think Collins’ conservatism has more to do with her foreign policy hawkishness and her general style than substantial policy differences with Snowe.

    2. Collins has a lifetime ACU score of 50.5% conservative while Snowe has a lifetime score of 48.4% conservative. Note that in 2010 both tacked to the right significantly; they both scored 64% conservative for that year alone.  

  3. The flipside of Kinder’s mess is that if his transgressions are worse than McCaskill’s, then they could be tied together and be jointly referred to as “politicians abusing power”. If that happens, Kinder’s actions may actually rub off on McCaskill, making her situation worse.

  4. Seeing Shelley turn down a NV-Sen run now, especially with Mellman’s poll results out and showing her ahead of Heller. Why pass up the opportunity of a lifetime? The DSCC may be pissed, but she can always call on Harry (Reid) to get them to back off.

  5. Gillibrand is a fundraising machine. Anyone want to bet she ends up with a bigger warchest than Schumer in the near future. she really should be running the democratic senatorial efforts next cycle, imo.

    1. I looked up Indiana SOS and found Burton got by with a little under 29% in the primary last year.  Only 2,267 votes ahead of the nearest competitor out of almost 114,000 votes cast.  Burton drew 6 challengers, 2 of which were serious vote getters.

    2. It’s a testament to the poor organization and/or stupidity of the Republicans in his district that they can’t unite behind one serious candidate to knock him off. At the same time, it’s kind of a knock against his district that they’d never consider a Democrat, even a fairly conservative one, over Burton. Or perhaps they’ve just never been offered the choice. Maybe I am over-interpreting the results of 2008, but when I see the big jumps in his district (as it currently stands, anyway) and especially Pence’s district towards Obama, I have to wonder how responsive the voters would be towards an ideologically appropriate Democrat. Perhaps they are just specific ticket splitters, but considering the severe lack of resources put into these races, I don’t think we can say that just yet.  

  6. Indiana State Senate Democrats on Twitter.

    “Right now majority is in 9th. 4 precincts in 5th. We’re working on adjustments to put all in 9th based on public input.”

  7. This is First Read’s take:

    Solid Dem: DC, DE, HI, MD, MA, NY, RI, VT (67 electoral votes)

    Likely Dem: CA, CT, IL, ME, WA, OR (105)

    Lean Dem: MI, MN, NJ, PA (60)

    Toss-up: CO, FL, IA, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, VA, WI (115)

    Lean GOP: AZ, GA, MO, MT, NE (one EV) (41)

    Likely GOP: AL, AR, IN, LA, MS, NE (four EVs), ND, SC, SD, TX (97)

    Solid GOP: AK, ID, KS, KY, OK, TN, UT, WV, WY (53)

    I personally don’t understand the distinction between “Likely” and “Solid” for a few of these states. Why is California only a “Likely Dem” state while New York is “Solid Dem”? And what about Illinois? I’d also put Indiana in the Lean GOP column, at least for now. A lot of people here say it’s unlikely to go to Obama again, but until we see some polling on the state, I’m not writing it off. He won it last time, and I can’t think of any sort of shift that occurred that would take it out of reach.

    In particular, I’d like to note this:

    A few states to keep an eye on THIS year when it comes to the Obama campaign: AZ, GA, and TX. All three are long shots, but all three showed significant population gains for minorities in the last 10 years. And the campaign is going to attempt to at least experiment with organizing in these three states to see if any of them are worth truly battling for when the calendar turns from 2011 to 2012.

    I’m not sure what “attempt to at least experiment with organizing” means, if only because it sounds completely vague, but it does sound promising. It won’t be easy to win a state like Texas, but Arizona and in particular Georgia seem more doable. Like I’ve said before, I imagine announcing they were contesting the state would in fact help with fund raising, as the millions of Democrats in those states, particularly the much smaller but influential rich donors, would be happy they weren’t being left out. Plus, if the campaign continues to place a greater emphasis on mobilization and ground game efforts than it does on ads, as it has in other states, I’d feel much more confident.

    I wonder when we will get a better idea of where the campaign expects to compete.

  8. So, I’ve been gaming this out in my head, and with the elections in Milwaukee County and Madison County coming the same day, coupled with the increased motivation of Dem voters in Wisconsin in general, I really don’t see how Prosser can win. I’m almost ready to call it a slam dunk for our side. Anyone disagree?

    Looking down the road, it’s going to be interesting. Assuming Kloppenburg wins (and personally, I think she wins big) and the Supreme Court overturns the collective bargaining rule, what do the Republicans do? Pass it again, with the Senate recall election looming, or let it fail and try to take the steam out of the recall?

  9. Link here. So far as structural reforms go, this is one that I like.

    She’s proposing a 151-seat legislature, though, which struck me as crazy. Turns out that’s the current size of the Maine House. Ideal population size for a House district in Maine? 8797!

    When I was a student government legislator in college, I represented a constituency of about thousand. The idea of a state legislator representing only eight times that many people is very odd to me. By way of comparison, a Michigan state house district’s ideal population size is about 90k.

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